WEEKLY DRONE NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION - 24 APRIL 2017

In this weekly news transmission:

WORLD NEWS HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

BRIGHT SPOT OF THE WEEK

LESSON OF THE WEEK

NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION

UPCOMING EVENTS

SAFETY MESSAGE

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER NEWS

 

WORLD NEWS HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK

FAA to be audited on waiver process.

The U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) notified the FAA with this memo on April 11th that it isn't satisfied with the FAA process for waiver requests against the new Part 107 rules for operating drones in the United States national airspace system (NAS).  According to the FAA UAS page for waivers granted, they have made decisions on 318 waivers as of April 23rd, 2017. According to Christopher Korody of dronebusiness.center (one of our DPF partners), as of April 21st 2017 the FAA has 2,775 waiver requests. Obviously the FAA still has a very large backlog.  Understanding the timeliness of waiver responses (or lack thereof) is one objective of the audit.  The second concern is an apparent lack of a risk-based safety-oriented process to evaluate and monitor the waiver requests.  Noble intents, but expect the audit to slow down the waiver process even more as FAA employees have to spend their time explaining why it takes them so long to respond to waiver requests -- instead of actually working on the waiver requests.  (Wasn't this scene in a movie?)

 

BRIGHT SPOT OF THE WEEK

DPF partner EasyAerial featured on technology leadership podcast. 

Ivan Stamatovski, founder of EasyAerial (a DPF partner), was the featured guest on the 22Lightbulbs podcast from The Level Market.  Ivan talked about drones as a transformational tool for first responders.  That makes drones "zero responders."  To learn a lot about drones are improving communities as a tool with first responders, listen to Ivan and this podcast: 22Lightbulbs: Search and Rescue Drones or click the image below.  Congratulations Ivan for a great podcast appearance and representing our industry so well.

LESSON OF THE WEEK

Local drone bans continue to be a persistent threat.

In a humbling and frustrating development, we at DPF headquarters recently learned about a new drone ban in our very own region of northern California. Despite our dedicated efforts at educating local and regional officials near us, drones are now banned in Sacramento County parks as reported by NBC Affiliate KCRA in this story.  

"If you aren't sitting at the table, you're on the menu." So says Margo Parks, a lobbyist and legislative aid who partners with Drone Pilots Federation. More officials near us (and probably near you) need to read this letter from Vic Moss:

An Open Letter to State and Local Policy Makers Considering Drone Laws

For you drone pilots out there, here is an article just for you:

How to Help Defeat State and Local UAS (drone) Regulations in the U.S.

 

NEWS FROM DRONE PILOTS FEDERATION

Local regulations hit DPF close to home.  (See above.)  Other more encouraging efforts to promote the legal, safe, and productive uses of drones aren't quite ready to share yet.

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

International Drone Day Year 3 – May 6th across the globe.  This is an open call and invitation for drone enthusiasts and leaders in every community across the world to showcase and promote their efforts to the public, educate others, and inspire people. Do you have plans or groups in your area to collaborate with?  Now is the time to start planning!   Let us know if you want help connecting with others in your area and we will do our best to help. 

3rd annual Drone Focus conference  May 31 - June 1, Fargo, ND, USA. This event will convene industry leaders in the unmanned aerial systems and autonomous vehicles in an engaging space to learn and connect.  

Interdrone 2017 – September 6-8th in Las Vegas, NV, USA.  This drone-centered conference made news itself recently when it was named one of the 50 fastest-growing trade shows in the U.S. by Trade Show Executive. Learn more about the event at the InterDrone website.

 

SAFETY MESSAGE

THINK SAFETY AND PRACTICE SAFETY WITH BATTERIES. 

Those high energy-density batteries we put into our drones are not to be treated carelessly or recklessly.  It is no accident that the FAA forbids the transport of LiPo batteries as payload under Part 107 laws because they are classified as HAZARDOUS MATERIALS.  (It’s ironic because the very same batteries are on the drone already, but whatever...)

We won’t take time and space here to go through proper procedures and equipment.  One excellent guide is on this page from Drone Registration: Safety Tips for LiPo Batteries Be sure you know and practice safety with batteries!

Here is one dramatic example of what can go wrong with a battery.  A faint “burp” sound was heard during charging of a LiPo battery. Less than a minute later, things got very exciting.

 

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

The 2017 Q1 Drone Industry Review from Ian Smith on the Commercial Drones FM Podcast.

Invest 20 minutes listening to this concentrated and comprehensive roundup of our industry or read excellent report in the show notes here. Great effort and service from Ian Smith.

 

SACRAMENTO CHAPTER NEWS

Do you have a drone or some UAS hardware that needs repair?  Are you stuck trying to figure out how to get your drone to work properly?  Are you dealing with frustrating software glitches and questions?  Maybe you have some obsolete drones or equipment that you would love to trade or sell in order to recoup some of your expense?  We are planning an event in May just for you. Stay tuned for details!

SIGN OFF

Thanks for reading this edition of our weekly drone news from Drone Pilots Federation.  Fly safe, be well, and do Good.

 

Bruce Parks,

President

 

Brett Hoffstadt, PMP

Vice President